Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Long and Winding Road

Well, at last. I am sitting down to write.  The moments have been few and far between that I have had the motivation to write, and I can't say exactly why, but today I'm motivated, so I'm capitalizing on this moment.

A lot has changed since my last post.  A lot has been learned, and a lot has been lost.  Our family is transitioning into being healthier, both physically and mentally, and more independent.  Everyone in their own ways, has grown so much in the past several months, and I can honestly say that I don't even feel like the same person I was the last time I sat down at this computer to blurt out what was on my mind.

Life has been throwing curve ball after curve ball, and I think I've just found my glove.  It doesn't quite fit perfectly, but I'm breaking it in.

My kids are amazing.  I have begun watching all three of them begin to interact, mostly in part due to age, but also because they have become so aware of each other.  Little Dolly is so sweet to Nicholas, and asks him questions the same way Mom and Dad do (by giving him a choice of two answers) and will let me know how he answered her.  It is absolutely precious and I love watching him reach out to touch one of her hands when he answers her.  They may not play together like some siblings do, but they are at least AWARE of each other, and this is progress.  She will also be starting pre-school in the fall, and while the idea of her being at this age already startles me, she is very ready, and I know she will love it.

BrodyMonster has become increasingly independent, and he and Little Dolly play so nicely (who am I kidding....he pulls her hair every 15 minutes, and she cries and hits him back....) and regardless of the outcome of their play, it is a new experience for me to see my children in this light. I love every second of it, and I can honestly say that I have burst into tears at times watching them "play pretend" or make new friends at the park.  This is something that I cherish more than most parents might, or maybe not, but I can't even describe the how wonderful and happy this makes me feel.

As for Nicholas, we have many changes happening.  He has been doing great at his school, and progress, albeit slow and steady, has been made.  It's not always tangible, but the little things, like how he is starting to listen and do small things that I ask him to do (like "Come sit on the snuggle couch with mommy, Nicholas!" ) is beginning to give me hope that we will one day connect on a much more intimate level.  He is so loving, and is amazingly gifted with vocabulary and reading.  I have been quizzing him, and I am always shocked at the knowledge that he holds in his little head.  On a not so wonderful note, his pediatrician has advised us to see a geneticist once again to have him tested, and hopefully rule out any "syndromes" that may be causing his delay in physical growth. This one threw me for a loop and hit me pretty hard, but forward we march.  On a more positive note, I have been toying around with a Casein Free diet to see if there are any changes to his behaviors or physical symptoms.  It has only been two weeks, and nothing majorly notable, but he DOES seem to be trying to communicate more effectively.  I did not begin this for that reason, but more for a "what the heck....lets see what happens...can't hurt, right?" kind of thing.  Not to mention, his diet has been awful for so long, that I have to believe that his growth issues are related more to this than a syndrome (fingers crossed) and I figure this way I can try and get better nutrients in him. He's been doing really well with it, and we will forge ahead regardless of what we find out.

As for the practical stuff, our transition back to our home school district has begun.  He will be back "home" in the fall, and while I have very mixed feelings about this, I am doing what I can to ease any anxiety I have about it.  We have begun occupational therapy again, will be beginning speech again this week, and also are starting a new home therapy program beginning this week.  I am ecstatic about the home therapy program, as it is focused on not only Nicholas, but his siblings as well. The idea is to show them a system to communicate more effectively, and to have them use this system themselves while also modeling it for Nicholas so he has that extra reinforcement.   The program itself is a work in progress, and basically a concept that I've not seen implemented anywhere else.  The fit of our therapist will be great, because she already knows all three of my children from another program we are in, and her energy and excitement to finally implement her idea with an actual family is contagious.

As for ME, well, I'm still alive and kicking.  Kicking and screaming sometimes, but more now than ever, starting to figure out how to let go.  Life has been rocky over the past several months, and at times, I have felt like I was drowning in the middle of the ocean.  But today, I feel good.  I can see the shore.  I have a lot of swimming to do, but I'll get there.

So with that, rather than detail a boring account of our past several months, I would like to simply share some nuggets that I have learned from our ever-progressive journey:

1) Put your own oxygen mask on first when the plane is going down!  It's true what they say, and I can't agree more.  How can I help my family when, I myself, am struggling to breathe?  It's a learning curve, but it's slowly happening.

2) You can't control everything in the world, but you can control your own reactions to it.  This is a big one for me.  Letting go of some things that you simply can't control just makes life  much easier to manage. This applies to just about every situation I encounter, and I'm really trying to practice this more. It brings me peace, and it allows me to give more of myself  since I am not focusing on everything I CAN'T do.

3) Create your own atmosphere.  I have been listening to a lot of music lately.(Hence the title...The Long and Winding Road....which I happen to be listening to now.) As simple as that sounds, I find that the right music can influence my mood and switch a bad one to a good one like a light switch.  Try it!

4) Taking care of yourself is not being selfish, it is your responsibility.  I fail to do this often, and now know more than ever, that it has to be a priority...and it is.

5) You can't take the future for granted, or assume you know what it holds.  Many unexpected events will happen, and you can't plan for every single one of them.  Just embrace this day, and this day only, and the rest will fall into place as it should. Sometimes its just best to stop and smell the roses, as they say.

That's all for now. As I re-read this, it just sounds like a bunch of cliches....but then again, cliches are cliches for a reason! :-)

Until next time.....